Hannah Jarvie has always been fast. But the junior field hockey player from Saline has taken it to a new level. Not only are her feet faster, her hands and faster and, as the saying goes, she’s able to stickhandle in a phone booth.
Jarvie’s speed, agility and stickhandling were on display Tuesday as Saline opened its season with a 7-0 victory over Novi.
“You noticed, huh?” Saline coach Erica Reilly said with a smile, when she was asked about Jarvie’s improvement.
Reilly said Jarvie is playing with skill and confidence that was fostered when her team won Gold in the Junior Olympics.
“Against the best competition in the country, she scored six goals and had two game-winning assists,” Reilly said. “She’s coming in to this season with a boatload of confidence.”
Jarvie’s speed has been an asset since she made varsity as a freshman. But Tuesday, she left defenders in the dust with quick spins to break in on Novi’s goalie.
“She has grown leaps and bounds in the offseason. She’s ratcheted up her speed several notches. I don’t know where she finds all that speed,” Reilly said.
She nearly opened the scoring when she stickhandled through the defense and then backhanded a shot through the goalie’s leg and just wide. A few minutes later, Jarvie was at it again. She started on the right-side, bounced to the middle and then flipped a high shot past the helpless goalie. Her second goal in the second half also came on a flick shot that beat the goalie high.
The victory over Novi was the first in coach Reilly’s four-year tenure.
“They’re always such a well-coached team and they hit the ball extremely well. Last year was a tough loss. We played extremely well but we lost, 1-0, on senior night. It was a hard-fought game and we had possession much of the game. They had a long ball down the field which resulted in a corner and goal,” Reilly said. “It was a hard pill to swallow, so this was an important win.”
After Jarvie opened the scoring, Sophomore Erin Reilly made it 2-0 with a booming slap shot that shook the cage from 20 yards.
Midway through the first half, Celest Roof scored the first of her two goals when she found a loose ball at the side of the goal and scored before anyone could stop her.
Until that point in the game, the Hornets were dominating.
Novi generated a couple of chances over the next 10 minutes while Reilly was off for a breather. Defenders Kari Szaylay and Sophie Goethals helped keep the Wildcats to the outside. Keeper Julia Bentley kicked out a couple of shots – the only shots she faced during the game. At one point, Goethals defended an open net and cleared the ball to safety.
In the second half, the Hornets opened the scoring with a hustle goal. Saline played a long shot in on the Novi keeper as Emily Maloney ran hard to the net. The keeper kicked it past Maloney, but sophomore Bridget Skelly was first to the ball. She bounced to the right side and fired a slap shot in the goal to make it 4-0.
A little more than a minute later, Jarvie scored her second to make it 5-0.
12 minutes into the half, Grace Livesey took two cracks at the ball from the left side of the goal. Aerin Kwant knocked a rebound through the goalie’s pad and then Roof tipped it into the goal before a defense could clear it. Saline led 6-0.
Saline scored its seventh goal late in the contest. Jarvie created space when she danced around a defender and then centered it through the slot to Maloney, who had two cracks at the ball before she scored.
Saline played without junior star Devin Reilly, who should be ready for Monday’s game when the Hornets host Cranbrook at 7 p.m.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Hannah Jarvie – Dangerous nearly every time she touched the ball, Jarvie opened the 2017 season in fine form.
- Erin Reilly – Scored on a bullet of a shot and was a wall in the midfield. Novi rarely crossed center with any speed or momentum.
- Celest Roof – The tiny junior showed great speed when defending and good hands around the goal, scoring twice.